The Future of America Could Be Totalitarian

In 1967 I predicted that America was in more danger of fascism than communism. Turns out, I was right.

Dozens of protesters gather in Times Square near a military recruitment center to show their anger at President Donald Trump's announcement that the U.S. military would not allow people identifying as transgender to serve on July 26, 2017 in New York City.

By Jim Tonkowich Published on August 11, 2017

It was 1967. Rebellion was in the air. Our youthful voices needed to be heard. And so my friend Dave and I created an underground newspaper for our junior high school. We would stick it to the Man and the lackeys at the establishment student newspaper. Power to the People!

Okay so it wasn’t all that radical or underground. My dad was on the town Board of Education and we had a faculty adviser. Nonetheless, we caused some controversy.

I wish had a copy to find out exactly what I wrote about communism and fascism. Whatever it was, more than one teacher approached me wanting to know if I really believed what I said. Apparently I argued that the United States was in little danger of becoming communist. We could, however, turn fascist. The teachers for whom World War II was a recent memory were shocked.

No, no, I said. We were democratic. We’ll be fine. They were relieved, but I was wrong.

The Lust to Rule in Modern America

In his biography of Winston Churchill, military historian John Keegan notes that Churchill understood that all totalitarianism finds a fertile seedbed in cultures marked by resentment.

It wasn’t that workers in Tsarist Russia or Germany post-World War I didn’t have legitimate grievances. They did. The trouble came when those just grievances were transformed into angry resentments. The call for change became a demand that “the wicked” — the rich, the kulaks, the priests, the Jews, the Poles, the educated, and other “enemies” — must pay and pay dearly.

The American Revolution, undergirded with Judeo-Christian values, lacked that kind of resentment. The French, Russian and Chinese Revolutions along with Fascism in Italy and National Socialism in Germany were entirely secular. They were thick with resentment. That justified the brutal use of power, purges, prison camps, torture and rivers of blood.

Our culture is becoming increasingly resentful, demanding, and tyrannical.

Augustine of Hippo in City of God wrote that the city of God is ruled by love. It’s perfect in Heaven though imperfect on earth. By contrast “the earthly city … is itself ruled by its lust to rule.”

That “lust to rule” is the totalitarian impulse. It runs through every human heart: “My way … or else.” The accompanying disdain and resentment, unchecked by the love and forgiveness of the Gospel, ruins everything.

We all experience that destructive power in our personal lives. It’s far more destructive and dangerous when these define a culture.

And our culture is becoming increasingly resentful, demanding and tyrannical.

Totalitarianism, Here We Come

Ryan Anderson of The Heritage Foundation illustrates this in his article “The Continuing Threat to Religious Liberty”. “Rolling Stone,” he notes, “just profiled the LGBT activist Tim Gill, who has pledged his $500 million fortune to passing SOGI [sexual orientation and gender identity] laws that will, in his words, ‘punish the wicked.’”

“The wicked” are those with a traditional view of sexuality and marriage. Christians seem to top the list.

With that in mind, consider the power of our vast and largely unaccountable administrative state. Consider that while we have freedom of the press, it doesn’t matter. Most of the media march in lockstep and happily condemn “the wicked.” There’s freedom to say otherwise, but not enough who exercise that freedom.

We are heading toward a totalitarianism where the government controls pretty much everything and a single shared culture is ruthlessly enforced.

The internal culture and policies of Google and other corporations have been exposed. They preach diversity while allowing precious little. Professional associations and licensing agencies force compliance to their political and social agendas. Accreditation organizations have at least threatened to do the same with colleges and universities. Ask the people at Gordon College what it feels like to have that hanging over your head.

Student demands on campuses are powered by resentment. They are also fundamentally totalitarian. Discussion and debate have no place in a world where shouting and expletives win. As administrators give in, they inadvertently — if it is inadvertently — endorse student demands and methods. Campuses have become as Hoover Institution scholar Peter Berkowitz writes, “breeding grounds, training camps, and launching pads in the campaign to curtail liberty of thought and discussion.” And these young totalitarians will sooner or later graduate.

So my seventh-grade insight that the U.S. will not succumb to communism despite far too many people who feel compelled to defend it was correct.

What about a totalitarianism where the government controls pretty much everything and a single shared culture is ruthlessly enforced? With apologies to my junior high teachers, we’re well on our way.

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  • Kevin Carr

    Mr. Toncowich, you are so correct. There are also the examples of forcing Christian bakers and florist to do the demands of certain groups and if they don’t they should be destroyed. The recent firing of the Google employee, the firing of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. Even with Obamacare/ACA, being forced to buy a product or face fines.

    • Mensa Member

      >> There are also the examples of forcing Christian bakers and florist to do the demands of certain groups

      Not all Christian bakers and florets… just those who have have agreed to sell to the public.

      It’s a core principal of America… everybody pays the taxes that make your business possible. You then don’t get to sell to only whites or straights or Christians.

      This is not that hard to understand. If you want to only sell to whites or straights or Christians, then do so privately.

      • Patmos

        “It’s a core principal of America”

        Religious liberty is a core principal of America. No person should be forced into participating in something that goes against their religion. Kind of easy to understand why that doesn’t register with you, having sold your soul as such a spineless ingrate.

        I mean, I can understand Peter denying his faith in the face of the brutality of Roman persecution, but to roll over just to gain favor with some LGBT activists??? Talk about selling out, my goodness.

        But then again, I doubt you were ever a Christian to begin with. A Christian would make some effort to teach a person in the ways of the Lord, their house being built on solid rock, and not just conform to the world. But your foundation is collapsed, doing what is right in your own eyes and in the eyes of the world, being blind to the wisdom and power of Christ.

      • Kevin Carr

        They did not deny them service in their establishments, even suggested other places they could go to get what they wanted done, that wasn’t good enough, then it was they must be destroyed. They bakers and florist never said they didn’t like them, in fact in the case of the florist (Ms. Stutzman) the man was a frequent customer. They just didn’t agree with the idea of using their talents to accomodate a homosexual wedding.

      • Chris C.

        Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are principles guaranteed by the First Amendment. Expressive conduct, which includes participation in an event, is protected and cannot be coerces by any legitimate exercise of governmental authority. The bakes and florists were being forced, not to offer a service available to the general public, but to participate in a pseudo-marriage. Doing so violated their beliefs. A restaurant cannot deny service on account of race. It cannot be legitimately forced to participate in a Black Lives Matter event complete with hostile and violent sentiments directed at the police, or bake a cake or decorate their facility with anti-police rhetoric. If you respect the exercise of free speech, I’d hope you’ll agree.

      • Aliquantillus

        The problem is not about selling. It is about to be forced to congratulate and celebrate.

    • Mensa Member

      >> being forced to buy a product or face fines.

      It’s called not freeloading.

      Too many Americans were not buying health insurance and then freeloading when they got sick.

      This was costing responsible citizens a fortune and hurting the whole healthcare system.

      Being require to pay your own way is not “being forced to buy a product.” It’s basic responsibility.

      • Kevin Carr

        They were selling to the public, they didn’t want to lend their talents to a particular event (“wedding”).

        As for health insurance, the government in its “wisdom” decided some peoples insurance was not good enough. I know of some people that were exercising their responsibility and paying for their health insurance, so no they were not freeloading. In my sister and her husband’s case, and some others I know the government some how knew they had substandard insurance. They ended up with the ACA, by the second round of increases they could no longer afford it. By the third round of increases the price was insane. They never got the “promised” $2500.00, because it was a lie to begin with, they don’t qualify for a subsidy. Them and other I know got messed over because the government was helping.

      • Patmos

        Yes, they are forced to buy a product, a product that is over priced due to lobbyists in DC that have undue influence and who wrote the ACA for crying out loud. How uninformed can a person be??? I swear, you keep coming here with your complete and utter nonsense, you are the fool that Jonathan Gruber talked about.

        It’s quick to listen and slow to speak, not the other way around. Oh yeah that’s right, you don’t read the Bible and are just a prideful abomination affirming fake Christian jerk.

  • Mensa Member

    This article strikes me as a serious case of reversa-world.

    He’s blaming liberals for wanting totalitarianism?!?

    Yesterday, this headline ran everywhere but the conservative media bubble:

    “In a new poll, half of Republicans say they would support postponing the 2020 election if Trump proposed it”

    Google it! Most Republicans are willing suspend democracy. That should be shocking and it’s a textbook case of a totalitarian trend.

    • john appleseed

      I’m sure the number of Democrats supporting Obama suspending elections would have been at least as high.
      I laughed at how you slid from “half” to “most” in your comment.
      Narcissism Member*, you inadvertently support the premise of the article. The USA is ready to flip to totalitarianism. Those radical Trump supporters who would suspend elections are not conservatives, BTW. Conservatives love the Constitution.

      *Your username reveals the pride that causes you to reject God’s truth.

    • john appleseed

      Narcissism Member*, you inadvertently support the premise of the article. The USA is ready to flip to totalitarianism. Those radical Trump supporters who would suspend elections are not conservatives, BTW. Conservatives love the Constitution.
      And I just saw that poll at HotAirdotcom. So much for your “conservative media bubble.”

      *Your username reveals the pride that causes you to reject God’s truth.

      P.S. In case you see most of this comment appear a second time, it’s because I posted an actual link in my first attempt, so the powers that be here at Stream are blocking it until they can examine it.
      I never claimed to be a Mensa member. 🙂

      • john appleseed

        BTW, at least those misled Trump supporters based their decision on whether rampant voter fraud would be discovered. They would suspend elections until the fraud was rooted out.
        The 67% of Democrats who supported suspending the election last year (according to The Hill dot com) only wanted to avoid a Trump presidency.

      • Hannah

        Essentially, Mensa is just a scam on human pride. Truly smart people don’t need to carry around a card that they pay/paid for – they know that their own intellect will manifest itself in the world naturally. I have a family member on my husband’s side who uses his Mensa membership status when arguing with people. It’s embarrassing.

  • john appleseed

    The Hill dot com posted a poll last summer that supports the author’s premise. I quote:

    “A strong majority of Democrats would cancel the 2016 presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump if it meant President Obama could serve another term, a new poll found. … 67 percent of Democrats would take a third term for Obama over a potential Clinton administration. … Only 28 percent said they’re ready to move on from the Obama White House, while 6 percent are undecided.”

  • RebelwithaCause

    ” The Future of America Could be Totalitarianism” – I ilke your optimism but I think the only true question is WHEN will America (and Europe) become totalitarianism? Then like Venezuela, when will the Golbal Progressive Elites utopian project implode and the elite resort to violence and mass murder to protect themselves?

  • Robert Hightower

    The United States and her Constitution are not eternal. Almost 100 years ago many people traveled by horse, had outside plumbing, heated with oil or wood, and communicated by mail. We have grown in technology. information. But, not in knowledge. It is said long ago that world domination by an entity of devious powers will rule over all nations. The sadness is that we are living the transformation. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

  • Stephen D

    People in the West need to realise that it was ordinary folk – just like them – who made the totalitarian regimes of the last century possible. Do not think Hitler, Stalin or Mao. Think Mom and Dad and the kids next door. These people stood by and did nothing when a relative was arrested. These people acquiesced in the latest repressive legislation. And it was these people who spied on their neighbours and reported them to the secret police.
    Meanwhile the State today is vastly more powerful than in previous centuries. It has access to data on every citizen. It can track phones. It can eavesdrop on communications of any kind. It controls huge resources for mass indoctrination. Its military and its advanced weapons systems give it overwhelming firepower against potential dissidents.
    Consequently the West is in grave danger from within. It is rapidly drifting into totalitarianism. Christianity may well be crushed in the process, as it was crushed in Germany, Russia and China. But Christ will have the last say. The Bible notes (Psalm 2) that “the rulers take counsel together against the Lord”. But God in response simply says: “As for me, I have set my King on Zion” (ESV).

  • Eric C

    You’re thesis confuses me. If you equate fascism with totalitarianism, as I would, why would you create a false dichotomy of either fascist or communist, when the 20th century should have taught you the most totalitarian regimes have been socialist/communist. If by democracy you mean free to choose what sort of government you want, then what happens when ignorant voters choose a totalitarian government in the guise of socialism/communism? If rather we choose FREEDOM, the liberty that comes from recognizing our rights derive not from government, but from our Creator, then it is against the growth of government as a replacement that we must fight. You should definitely be concerned with the spread of socialism/communism because the ideal world they espouse can only be achieved through totalitarianism.

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